BBQ Grilled and Braised Lamb Shanks

Heath Robbins/ Three Bean Press/Heath Robbins

Chef Peter Davis’ lamb shank gets a triple threat treatment; it’s grilled, braised and pulled for a tender stew that packs a flavorful punch. A dry BBQ rub preps the lamb for the grill with spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne and more—then, the heat is balanced with a slow braise in house-made bourbon BBQ sauce for a final dish that’s pleasing to all palates.



Servings: 4


For the dry BBQ rub
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
For the bourbon BBQ sauce
  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Jim Beam bourbon
For the lamb
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1/4 cup dry BBQ rub
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup bourbon BBQ sauce


For the dry rub
  1. Mix all the spices in a bowl. Keep covered until ready to use.
For the BBQ sauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot except for the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 hour. Then, add the bourbon, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
For the lamb
  1. Rub the shanks with the 1/4 cup of dry BBQ rub until they are totally covered.
  2. Place the shanks on a hot grill and cook on all sides until lightly charred.
  3. Remove the shanks and put them in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Cover with the chicken stock, place on the stove, and bring to a boil.
  4. Then reduce the mixture to a simmer and cook the shanks until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone, approximately 3 hours.
  5. Remove the shanks from the sauce pot and reduce the remaining braising liquid to a desired consistency. Then, add the 1/2 cup bourbon BBQ sauce, and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. While the shanks are still warm, pull the meat from the bone. Then, place the meat back into the sauce to reheat and serve.

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